Friday, August 5, 2011

Past and Future

When reviewing Tang Ting's file it told us that as a 14 year old she was in the 4th grade.
To be honest, I didn't like hearing this and it concerned me.  I told myself I can't raise a mentally challenged child.  But what I really meant was-  I didn't WANT to raise a mentally challenged child.

First things first.
Sophie is NOT mentally challenged and I don't think she is what would be considered "slow".

This is her life as I "know" it:

She was abandoned at the age of 10 years old on November 23, 2005.
It's chilly here in November.  Somewhere around 50-60 degrees.  She was wearing a yellow t-shirt, jeans, white sneakers and had a red traveling bag.  Her abandonment was planned.

In China, when a couple divorces, it is most likely the new spouse will reject the child.  Thus, abandonment will occur.  Something so foreign for us to ever even consider!!
Our guide seems to think this is probably the scenario for Sophie.  When asked what she remembers she will either stay silent or say she doesn't remember.  Maybe one day she will feel safe enough to share what she does remember.

When her first anger outburst happened I had our guide, Susie, ask her if she was missing the orphanage or her foster mother and father.  She said no, that they weren't that nice to her.
As a 10 year old she was put into the first grade with 6 year olds.
She has been told she is not smart.  Lazy.  Brain not working.
Don't we all tend to believe something if we are told it long enough?

The first two days were very hard for me.  She is so immature.  Hangs on me, holds my hand, hugs, kisses, head on my shoulder all the time.  Yes.  It is sweet.  But it drove me crazy!! (and still does)  I am shocked by my feelings on this.  (Isabella was completely glued to me 24 hours a day when I got her!)  I think the difference is that she is 14 and not 5.  She is not a baby or little kid.  She's a big girl!
Probably the hardest thing to discover is that she is not at a 4th or 5th grade level.  She is behind Isabella academically.  So....we will start with A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 when we get home.  There is no way I could send her to school.  God knew this and I am seeing now how these 2 adoptions and homeschooling is all starting to come together and make sense.


We learned a lot today.
We went back to the Notary Office today to pick up our paperwork.
Sophie came clean.
She does remember her mother.  She also has an older sister, although she can't remember her name.
They were poor and her mother didn't have a job.  She never knew her father.
And all of this explains to me why she is at a kindergarten/first grade level:  her and her sister never went to school.  They were too poor.  She didn't have an education until she was 10 years old and in the orphanage.  I am so relieved to at least know something.

The two are in bed now giggling like crazy.
We are off to bed.  Repacking our suitcases tomorrow to leave for Zhenghou at 6am.
I can hear Isabella telling Sophie to listen and think about it.  She is teaching her the ABC song.
I may not have to teach Sophie anything!!  Isabella just might be the homeschooling sister teacher!!


  1. Stacy,
    Thanks for sharing and allowing us to know how we can pray more and better for you and Sophie. God definitely has a plan and it is better than any we could come up with. Will you answer something? Does she speak English at all? Just wondering if you can communicate without a translator. Thanks! Ann

  2. Stacy!!! What a HUGE day.... so many unexpected answers! What a gift from the Lord! So much makes sense now... It makes me laugh, when I think about all the scenarios we had come up with! Enjoy your last few days as a mother of "just" 4... Hang on Hudson! Your Mama is on her way!!! Lori

  3. Wow. I am in awe. I will be praying for Sophie and for you as you navigate these new waters. I know that with the Lord on your side, you will love her and give her the security and finality of family. Forever. Praying with you as you meed Hudson!!!! XOXO

  4. All I got is wow. I have chills. My friend, I can only imagine how quickly she will blossom under your love, your grace, her soon to be education, all of it. What a difference there is to come! What hope! What restoration!

  5. I came across your blog from another blog that I follow. We have a 4 yr old son from Ethiopia, also our oldest son has special needs, it is a hard road but our son has taught us more about life & ourselves than we ever thought possible, they are truly a gift from God!! Blessings & prayers from the Gutman Family.

  6. Congrats! We're praying for you guys!

    Brad & Michelle Wiger

  7. We miss you guys so much! Stacy, you are an amazing person...hang in there...I'm so glad Kim is there with you (wishin' it was me though, I'm definitely renewing my passport!:)) Can't wait to meet Sophie and Hudson! Please be careful and bring them home safe. Give them big hugs and kisses from Aunt Ollie! Love you!!
    PS I can't believe how long Sophie's hair is...remember Isabella's??

  8. I absolutely cannot wait to see how this child blossoms!! What an amazing testimony she already has! God is going to use her (and you, my friend) to touch many lives. Can you even imagine what her life would be like today, had you not decided to love her?

    Can't wait to see gotcha #2!!! What an amazing month August is turning out to be!!!

  9. SO PROUD of YOU! OH, this has me all teary and smiling at the same time!!! God is just so, so COOL! Can't wait to see how HE unfolds this. YOU just keep following HIM as HE turns beauty from ASHES!! LOVE YOU sweet Friend!! Praying, Praying! UP next...YOUR BOY!!!